Your baby is considered weaned when he stops breastfeeding and gets all the nutrition he needs from sources other than the breast, although weaning should be called until he stops drinking formula as well, but the term usually refers to when the baby stops breastfeeding.
Here is the right time to wean your child and the best ways to help.
Weaning does not necessarily mean the end of the intimate relationship for you and your baby, it just means that feeding and caring have different ways.
For example, if you want your baby to feel comfortable, find ways other than feeding him to make him feel better, such as reading a book, singing to him, or playing outside with him.
When to start weaning your baby:
The best time to wean has no specific deadline, but you and your baby should be prepared for this step. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that mothers breastfeed their babies for at least a year, and women are encouraged to breastfeed for longer because of its great benefits.
- Despite what friends, relatives, or even strangers may say, there is no right or wrong way to wean, and you can choose when you feel the time is right, or let your baby wean naturally when he’s a little older.
What leads the child to weaning:
Weaning is easiest when your baby starts losing interest in feeding, which can happen at any time after he starts eating solids (around 4 to 6 months), as some babies are more interested in solid food than breast milk after 12 months.
- Toddlers may become less interested in feeding when they are more active and tend not to sit long enough while feeding, and if your baby is impatient for a while while feeding, this may be a good time to wean.
What drives the mother to weaning:
The mother may decide to start weaning when you return to work, or perhaps she feels that this is the right time, and if you are ready but your baby is not showing any signs of stopping feeding, start weaning from the breast gradually.
When it’s a mom’s idea, weaning can take a lot of time and patience, and it also depends on your child’s age and their receptiveness to change.
Unwanted means of weaning: A
mother disappearing from her baby for two days is not a good way to end a breastfeeding relationship, and experts say that suddenly blocking the breast can be traumatic for your baby, and can cause mastitis for you.
How to wean your baby:
It is slow at first, and you should expect to see signs of frustration from your child at first. To facilitate this, start using these techniques:
1. Skip feeding through the breast:
see what happens if you offer a bottle or cup of milk instead of breast-feeding, and you can replace pumping breast milk or cow’s milk (if your child is less than a year old).
2. Reducing feedings at one time:
Over a period of weeks it gives your baby time to adjust, and also gradually reduces your milk supply in this way, without leaving your breasts engorged or sore.
3. Reducing the time of feeding:
It starts by limiting the duration of giving your child to the breast. If the duration of each feeding is about ten minutes, it is reduced to five and gradually less.
4. Depending on his age, follow the nutrition with a healthy snack:
such as unsweetened applesauce or a glass of milk (some babies under 6 months of age may not be ready to eat solid foods.) Solid food is a supplement to breast milk until it reaches Your child to the age of one year.
Breastfeeding before bed may be the most difficult thing to skip because it is the last thing a child contacts before bed and is a habit that is difficult to change.
5. Postpone breastfeeding if he breastfeeds several times a day to reduce it:
This method works well if a child is a little old and can reason, by if your child asks you to breastfeed, you can reassure him and send him to different activities, and if he wants to breastfeed at a time Early in the evening, explain to him that he has to wait until bedtime.
6. To make it easier for your baby to get used to the bottle instead of the breast:
Try putting a few drops of breast milk on his lips or tongue before putting the bottle nipple in his mouth, and you can also try giving him a small amount of breast milk in a bottle a few hours after breastfeeding.
How does a child get enough nutrients:
Breastfeeding provides extra nutrients that cannot be obtained from any source, such as vitamin D. If your baby is weaned before he is one year old, you will need to continue giving him breast milk or iron-fortified milk until he is one year old.
- When your baby starts to walk, it will be necessary to give him a variety of foods that provide the range of nutrients he needs to help him grow.
What do you do to wean your baby?
If you’ve tried every way to wean your baby and it didn’t work, it’s probably not the time.
- If you’ve recently gone to work, your child may still not be adjusting to the new routine.
If your child is sick, babies often want to nurse more often when they feel sick, and feeding a sick child is not only uncomfortable, but also a good source of the nutrition he needs so you should postpone the idea of weaning at such a time.
Although there is no scientific approach to weaning, there are a few golden rules that can help the transition go smoothly for you and your baby.
Be Prepared You and your baby, and to that end, lactation consultants, development experts, and real moms have been brought together to help get the time for mind and body and be fully prepared for weaning.
The second rule: Gradual weaning:
Doing weaning from the breast gradually will protect your breasts from infection and reduce the anxiety that affects your child, and this may take about two weeks or more until you get satisfactory and positive results.
The third rule: Caring for your child:
The intimate relationship that is with breastfeeding between mothers and children is absent when the breastfeeding period ends, and this may cause trauma to your child, so you must make sure that your child receives a lot of extra attention during the weaning process such as cuddling, read him a story before Sleeping, as well as having the father with the baby at bedtime and waking up can ease the blow of not breastfeeding during these times.
Rule four: Get information on the right timing:
It’s impossible to predict exactly when your baby will be weaning, but there are certain ages and developmental periods when weaning is difficult, such as during your baby’s time in another major stage of change, such as moving homes, starting with day care, Or even learn to walk.
Weaning at the age of 0-6 months:
Bottles of formula are given when weaning the child under 6 months of age, and for each breastfeeding cycle it is replaced with a bottle of formula feeding. If it is more than 3 months old, as infants become more aware of what is going on around them between 3 and 4 months old, so you may face more resistance at this point.
- It is recommended to incorporate a few bottles of breast milk into the feeding schedule early, at around 6 weeks, your baby is comfortable with the new feeding methods, but if he refuses to take the bottle you should be patient and experiment later, and try to have someone else give him the bottle, feeding in a different location, or hold your child in a new position. Above all, keep calm, as children pick up on stress and become more tense.
In the first few months, your breasts are very full, and if your baby is weaned too quickly at this time, she may feel hard, heavy, and possibly red and hot which can lead to inflammation, so it’s important to treat symptoms early.
Weaning at 6-12 months:
From first foods to first steps In the second half of a baby’s first year, weaning is a leap forward in independence for many children.
- Babies often seem to lose interest in breastfeeding between 8 and 10 months, it is time for them to take in a lot of sensory information, and this often leads to looking around in all directions while feeding.
Other Weaning Options:
All or nothing is not your choice. Many working mothers prefer partial weaning, where a breast pump is used to extract milk into a bottle and put it at the caregiver during the day. There are two strategies:
- The mother is made to empty her breast during work so that she does not feel congestion in the breast during the work period, and formula milk is offered to the child during this period from the health care provider.
- The mother empties her breasts into a bottle before she goes to work and leaves it with the daycare provider to give to her baby at this time when the mother is away.